I had an amazing day today. I went down to Kutztown University as a guest speaker. I talked to the Finance Club and had a blast talking to all of the engaged and eager students. It almost didn't go that way...When I got to the building where I was going to be talking, I noticed everyone on cell phones. When I got to the room where I was going to be speaking, everyone was on cell phones. The first thing that went through my mind was, "The kids had better put their f**king cell phones away or someone's phone is going to have an intimate meeting with the cinder block walls..." I knew right away that I was annoyed by this from the get-go and worked to keep myself calm and to not judge anyone until such time that a student started using a phone during the presentation. The second that I was introduced and started engaging the students, all the cell phones went into pockets and I didn't see one or hear one for the duration. I was pleasantly surprised (and a little shocked) by the level of attention I was given by the students. It was gratifying to know that they were listening. It also made me feel incredibly guilty for even thinking that they would be disrespectful. I got home from the event (after being taken out to lunch) and thought this all through. Why was my response so instantaneously enraged? I recognized, after a lot of introspection, that I don't like anyone messing with something I am passionate about - especially when it involves getting in front of a large group of people I don't know. That's where the PTSD kicks in. I love giving presentations to groups large or small. My PTSD is diametrically opposed to being anywhere near crowds of people that I don't know in an environment I can't control. Is it any wonder that the anger came to the forefront of my thoughts when I was in this situation? No. Is it gratifying to know that the PTSD didn't win and make me say something I would have regretted later? Hell YES!
As I continue my life with PTSD, I will share my challenges and discoveries on this blog.